Canaletto’s Skies

Half the painting is
sky, sometimes more;
just what the critic
Clement Greenberg wished for.
Placid sky and languid clouds;
almost blues,
mouse turd gray shrouds.

Classical breezes only
blow here;
no Tiepolo skies
to die for –
just plain sky that would
never suffice
as alibi.
No Constable
no baroque pomposity.
Nothing happening here
to disturb
this ant farm of detail.


David Headley